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Physical Activity does not Alleviate Depression Symptoms


Physical Activity does not Alleviate Depression Symptoms

(epharmanews)- Although current guidelines recommend phsyical activity to treat derpression, a recent research suggests that adding physical activity to depression treatment is of no significant effect.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that adding physical activity to usual interventions usually done to treat depression did not reduce symptoms of depression more than usual care alone, although it increased the physical activity in generally.

Many earlier studies have pointed out to the benefits of exercise to alleviate symptoms of depression. However, all of them were small studies conducted on a very few patients. They are thus useless and cannot be considered  in clinical paractice.

The TREAD study, led by researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Exeter and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, is the first large-scale, randomised controlled trial to establish whether a physical activity intervention should be used in primary health care to help treat adults with depression.

The study included 361 patients, ages 18 to 69, who were recently diagnosed as depression patients. Some of them received traditional treatment without any physical activity, while others excercised regularly. The study lasted for 12 months during which researchers observed any alleviation in symptoms.

Melanie Chalder, from University of Bristol’s School of Social and Community Medicine, said: “Numerous studies have reported the positive effects of physical activity for people suffering with depression but our intervention was not an effective strategy for reducing symptoms.  However, it is important to note that increased physical activity is beneficial for people with other medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and, of course, these conditions can affect people with depression.”

John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (University of Exeter), commented: “Many patients suffering from depression would prefer not to have to take traditional antidepressant medication, preferring instead to consider alternative non-drug based forms of therapy. Exercise and activity appeared to offer promise as one such treatment, but this carefully designed research study has shown that exercise does not appear to be effective in treating depression.  An important finding however, is the observation that the approach we were using did result in a sustained increase in activity in people who were working with our activity facilitators.  Although their increased activity did not result in improved depression, the approach we used offers potential in areas other than depression, and we hope to explore this in due course."


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Prepared by: Laila Nour


Source :

ePharmaNews






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